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Old December 14, 2008, 12:06 PM
RagingDragon RagingDragon is offline
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Toronto ON, Canada
Posts: 11

Originally Posted by Robscix View Post
They are using the DAC they could source, there was issue with the other as it is being dis-continued or something of this nature. They are usign the best DAC avialable to them. The D2 would use a DAC with 123dB SNR but in normal practice the D2 would never even hit 120db SNR. The supporting ciruitry isn't up to the task.
Fair enough, anyway the overall SNR for the Essence STX is 124dB, so it's limited by something other than the DAC, so upgrading the DAC probably wouldn't have a significant effect. And upgrading the supporting circuitry to allow an overall SNR of (approximately) 130dB would probably make the card unreasonably expensive. The "best of the best" DAC would've been nice for bragging rights, but otherwise wouldn't make a whole lot of difference.

I didn't mean disparage the D2 DAC's - until the Essence STX came along they were best DAC's on any consumer sound card, and they're still better than the DAC's in many (most? all?) low and mid range pro-audio cards. The D2 supports 7.1 channel audio, so it needs 4 DAC's and their supporting circuitry; whereas, the STX is stereo and thus only requires a single DAC. A 7.1 channel card using the same DAC's and (expensive) supporting circuitry as the STX would be horrendously expensive. I meant it as an example of how high-end the STX DAC's are, and to illustrate how insignificant $1.20 would be compared to the difference in price between the D2 and STX DAC's.

The Essence STX is pretty much perfect for me: I use hifi headphones on my computer, so I have no need for 7.1 channel support, and at the same time I can take full advantage of high quality stereo output. Furthermore, I've been looking for a good soundcard or external DAC box for awhile now. So the STX is at the top of my personal computer hardware wish list.
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